Absa Cape Epic: The Prologue in Meerendal
After completing the trial stage of the Absa Cape Epic, nerves are beginning to kick in for AmaBhungane reporter Craig McKune.
Drinking beer and Rehidrat on a field in Robertson. A nasty cold front is coming over and we are praying for no rain. “They were saying there’ve been flash flood warnings for Robertson,” say some. We choose not to believe them – wilful ignorance (but this wind is swirling). “My beer’s finished, you look like you’re empty. Another?” asks Pete. “Yes!” We’re kind of serious, but not really, not too serious that we can’t drink a few beers.
We are working off the nerves after the prologue – day one, a short 23km time trial – of the Absa Cape Epic. That was in Meerendal, just outside of Durbanville this morning. Between the two of us, we’ve been down with lingering colds, sore heads, throats, useless muscles for more than two weeks. So we were apprehensive this morning. We honestly had no idea whether or not our limbs, lungs and heads would perform.
They didn’t really. We had some lung-failure on 100%-plus heart rates on the first climb and had to knock down to granny gear to survive, but the downhills were sweet and mostly smooth, and we got through it all with a reasonable 140th position out of 600 teams.
Tomorrow… let us cut to the boozy conversation:
“Oh sh#t tomorrow is going to be a long day.”
“It’s the hardest or the second hardest day of the epic.”
“Ja it’s going to be shock to the system.”
“Oooh howzit hamstring.” (Stretches out a leg cramp).
Each year, Stage 1 of the Absa Cape Epic is referred to as one of the hardest of the race, and nothing changes this year. Its going to be brutal, three major climbs, all on rough surfaces. And there is rain expected, perfect!
We’re looking forward to it. Hope it’s dry, or not flash-flooding at least.
Craig & Rory